Gordon Ramsay launches his own brand of California Wines

Gordon Ramsay has built his reputation on being exuberantly critical of other people’s cooking—but pleasing the celebrity chef with your wine pairings just became a whole lot easier – he launched his own wine brand.

“Gordon Ramsay Signature Wines” are crafted by their namesake chef in collaboration with winemaker and Master Sommelier Chris Miller at Seabold Cellars in Monterey, California, where the wines are produced. The online shop at GordonRamsay.wine – which is the only way to purchase bottles outside of at Ramsay’s U.S. restaurants – launched March 10 with eight offerings: 2019 Rosé, 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Chardonnay, and 2018 Pinot Noir, all from Monterey (priced at $20, $25, $30, and $35 respectively), a 2018 Chardonnay Reserve from Sonoma County ($45), and three 2018 Cabernet Sauvignons from California ($28), from Santa Cruz Mountains ($45), and a Reserve from Napa ($60). Bottles can also be purchased in three seasonal shipments as part of “The Ramsay Wine Club” which features additional discounts and other perks.

Ramsay partnered with Miller in 2018, aiming to make high-quality, old-world-style wines he could serve to complement the food at his restaurants. “It’s a little surreal for our humble little winery to be working with someone as prominent as Gordon,” Miller told Food & Wine. “We’re excited to share these wines with both his fan base and wine enthusiasts alike. We hope the introduction of this project creates an opportunity for more people to experience or be introduced to California wines, and that it will yield a greater appreciation for the quality and diversity of the wines produced here.”

Only a few hundred cases of each bottling are being made, with total production pegged at a mere 2,000 cases. The brand says they “source our grapes from sustainable and organic-practicing vineyards” and use minimal intervention winemaking: “native yeast fermentations, no ‘adjustments,’ restrained use of oak, little-to-no fining or filtration, and responsibly minimal sulfur usage” for final products that are “balanced, complimentary with food, and always 100 percent vegan.”

“Passionate winemakers in California’s cooler climate regions are producing delicious, balanced wines, and my time in California has convinced me that Californian wines stand with the best in the world. Christopher Miller is a master of his craft, so working with him has been amazing,” Ramsay told us via email. “Wine is a complex marriage of art, science, and tradition all captured together in a glass, and I am very excited to join in that tradition with Gordon Ramsay Californian wines. Until now the wine has been served exclusively at my restaurants in Las Vegas and Tahoe, so I’m very excited it’s now available to anyone to enjoy with a delicious meal or on its own with friends and family.”

Beyond additional winemaking details and tasting notes, the Gordon Ramsay Wines website also features at least three complementary recipes for every bottle, from options like truffle

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux announces 10 cities to host “en primeur” tastings [April 26-29]

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux has announced that this year’s en primeur tastings will be held in 10 cities worldwide (which includes Bordeaux) from April 26-29.

The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux has said that Bordeaux, New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Brussels, Zurich, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong will be the host cities for this year’s campaign.

As noted on their website, tastings will be held from 26-29 April in Bordeaux, with further tastings held around the world on the following timetable:

26 April: Zurich and Shanghai
26-27 April: Brussels
27 April: Frankfurt and Hong Kong
27-28 April: Paris, London, San Francisco and New York

Dedicated venues in each city will be chosen where professionals will be able to taste the 2020 wines from the UGCB’s 131-member estates, in accordance with local health regulations.

The UGCB’s president, Ronan Laborde, said: “We are incredibly committed to maintaining ties with our clients and ambassadors. Despite the restrictions in place, we will do everything in our power to ensure they can enjoy the Bordeaux 2020 vintage.”

The new dates for this year’s campaign were confirmed earlier in the year but the UGCB at the time remained unsure if it would be able to hold the annual tasting solely in Bordeaux. It mentioned that its fall-back option would be to hold the tasting in cities around the world, building and improving upon the system of sending out samples that it rushed into place last spring.

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Great Italian Wines Masterclass – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – The “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella Varieties

I attended an amazing Masterclass last week: “Great Italian Wines – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties.”  The seminar was led by the knowledgeable Sandra Colosimo, a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers. Sandra led us to explore and learn about the “Noble” Nebbiolo and Valpolicella varieties, their qualities, traceability, terroir and unique characteristics.

Here are details on the two wines tasted:

2016 “Rocolo” Valpolicella DOC Superiore (Agricola Piccoli Daniella S.S.)

Grape varieties: Corvina 40%, Corvinone 25%, Rondinella 30%, Oseleta, Molinara and Croatina 5%
Alcohol:14.5% vol.

Notes:
Ruby red hue with hints of purple; elegant yet complex nose with floral notes and berries evolving to eucalyptus, and slight touches of smokiness and balsamic; very well-balanced wine, some flavours of cherry and raspberry with hints of vanilla – long elegant finish

Food pairings: red meat, game dishes and strong hard cheeses

2018 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo DOC

Grape Varietal: 100% Nebbiolo
Alcohol: 14% vol.

Notes:
typical Nebbiolo with a ruby-red hue, perfumed bouquet of violets and red fruits, with dusty chalky tannins – lovely long finish.

Food Pairings: Aged cheeses, Meat or mushroom-based pasta and rice dishes

To enhance the tasting experience, the wines were paired with and appetizer plate of Italian specialty foods: Prosciutto di Parma DOP, Grana Padano DOP, Salame Finocchiona Toscano IGP, Piave DOP, Olive Taggiasche, and Olive Baresane, Taralli.

This masterclass series is organized in collaboration with Cavinona, Terroni’s exclusive wine agency.

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The Top Wines from Global Riesling Masters 2020

One of the favorite grapes of the true wine connoisseur, Riesling comes in many types, from sparkling to dry, from medium to sweet. Here is an analysis of the results and a list of all the medalists from the 2020 competition.

If you want proof of Riesling’s versatility, then look at the spread of top medals in this year’s competition. Held for pure Riesling only, there were many entries for sparkling wine, dry still wines, medium-dry and sweet ones, including an outstanding Icewine at the end of the tasting. It shows that not only can Riesling be used to make a wide array of wine styles, but in each case, it can achieve excellence. This is rare in the wine world, where noble grapes tend to create something exceptional in one or two styles, with only Chenin Blanc, and perhaps Furmint, being other grape varieties that of that are capable of yielding excellent sparkling, dry and sweet results.

CRISP FINISH

At higher prices, there were two brilliant Rieslings from Domaines Schlumberger, representing a pair of Alsace grand crus: Saering and Kessler, with the former showing a touch riper peachy fruit, honey and tangerine, and the latter more pear and apple, along with chalk and salt characters on its crisp finish.

Germany was the source nation of the final Gold in this sweetness category, with the powerful Rheingau Grosses Gewachs Riesling from Weingut August Eser, loaded with apricot richness, a touch of sweetness, and a stony, dry, lime-fresh finish.

The rest of our outstanding wines came at higher sweetness levels, notably the Riesling Rotschiefer from the Mosel’s Weingut Sorentburg, with peach and strawberry, a whiff of kerosine, and a persistent clean citrus note.

The final wine of the tasting turned out to be another Master. It was layered with fruit flavors from mango to apricot, along with dried apple and raisins. It was unctuous too, with almost 190g/l of sugar, but offset by a tangy freshness. It had the characters of great Icewine, which we later learned it was, and from Canada’s Andrew Peller Estates.

The 2020 competition was judged by David Round MW, Patrick Schmitt MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Riesling Master.

“After a glorious day of judging the Riesling Masters in 2020, it is difficult to understand what is not to love about the Riesling grape variety. This great grape shows its range of styles beautifully, far beyond its ‘homeland’ of Germany, Alsace and Austria. Dry Rieslings can sometimes appear ‘acidic’ or ‘stretched’. Not this category here. With just a tiny bit of residual sugar and ripe fruit, these wines have purity of citrus flavors, ranging from lemon-lime in the Clare Valley (Australia) through tangerine to orange zest (Eden Valley, Australia). Apple, pear, honey and minerality are more apparent in the wines from Germany or Alsace. Many of them have a lovely accent of lemon or orange blossom adding interest.” Patricia Stefanowicz MW

Here is the link which features all the medalists from this year’s competition.

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2021/01/the-best-wines-from-the-global-riesling-masters-2020/ 

Source:  Drinks Business

Christmas Wine: Chateau Palmer 2001

Christmas Wine: Chateau Palmer 2001

Margaux, France
Merlot 44% Cabernet Sauvignon 51% Petit Verdot 5%

Tasting Notes:
Stunning deep ruby; introverted nose at first instance and slowly opens up revealing various wood and spice aromas  with hints of ripe black fruits and mocha; on the palate the fruit is exquisite, with hints of herbs and tobacco, the tanks are subtle; good structure, well balanced and mellow long finish.

[decanted 2 hours before]

Ready to drink but still can keep for a few more years

93 points

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